Because we each have a story to share, here’s mine.
Sniffin’ out information
Growing up, I guess you could say that I was a different kind of child. When others my age were out playing and doing normal kid stuff, I could usually be found in my room, Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary in hand, looking things up. If it wasn’t the dictionary, it was the encyclopedia. If not that, then the huge collection of old GEO magazines that my dad had picked up for $5 at a yard sale. Bottom line, I was an inquisitive little thing.
I still have that red, cloth-covered dictionary. These days, though, I’m much more likely to Google something than reach for the bookshelf. So naturally, when Mr. Y and I got engaged in July 2008, one of the first things that I did was hop on the computer and start Googling like a mad woman. I seriously hadn’t the first idea of where to begin. Colors? Dress style? Favors? Unlike my younger sister, who had been picking and choosing details for her dream wedding since she was like, oh, five… I hadn’t a clue what I wanted. Nope, I was the kid slouched over the desk with her nose buried deep in a dusty old book.
Itching for the ’bee
So, in doing what I knew best, I discovered the wonderful (if not overwhelming!) world of wedding blogs. I had a vague idea that we would have a family tree theme, as a nod to our shared passion for genealogy. Silhouettes came to mind as a detail, so I started searching. Before long, I found the instructions on Brooklyn Bride for the digital silhouettes that would become the official logo of our little shindig. Searches on other DIY projects led me to Once Wed, Style Me Pretty and eventually, Weddingbee.
Anyway, my addiction to Weddingbee didn’t begin initially with the blog, but on the boards. In the hive, I found a welcoming community of friendly women in various stages ranging from “pre-Will You?” to “post-I Do!”. Not having any other real-life friends planning weddings at the time, the boards satisfied my need for fellowship with other brides-to-be who knew exactly what I was going through. So, I lived there as “craftypants”, commenting daily on others’ threads and bouncing ideas of my own off the friends that I’d made in the hive. I was on there A LOT.
Trying my paw at blogging
Unlike many of my fellow bees, I did not begin blogging with the intention of applying to Weddingbee. My blog, which I started in April 2009, was to serve a more selfish purpose: to keep this procrastinator from putting off important wedding-related tasks and projects during the final stretch of our planning. I figured that if I posted about it online, for anyone and everyone to see, I’d be much more likely to carry out my plans and stay on target. In the process, I figured that in my own little way, I could pay forward some of the help and inspiration that I’d received from my favorite bloggers.
Having a little faith
I never really considered even applying to become a WB blogger until an aspiring bee (the future Mrs. Bunny) encouraged me to apply. Me? Do you really think? Really? But it’s so late already! I was stunned by her confidence in me, and figured that I had nothing to lose. So I applied.
I found it hard to believe that readers would enjoy posts about a wedding that was nearly completely planned. You see, by the time that I got the idea to apply, all but a couple of our main details had already been decided upon. My dress had long been purchased, our venue and photographer were contracted months in advance, and our precious cake (the final version of it) had already been set. Rather than engaging the hive by asking for opinions and advice, I would be conducting more of a bridal show-and-tell. I had my doubts.
Bunny was right all along! I was accepted as a bee and began my life as Yorkie. If it wasn’t for her suggestion, though, I never would have applied. At a time when she herself was longing to become a blogger, she encouraged me to give it a shot, too. Thanks, Bun!
Hot diggity dog!
The decision to become Yorkie was an easy one for me. I chose it in honor of my real-life little pint-sized pooch, Bella. The little dance I did when I first read the acceptance e-mail sure reminded me of her. I had to laugh, though. Mr. Y’s first impression of my icon was that it looked a bit like an Ewok. (Boys and their Star Wars! Ha!)
As wonderful and rewarding as my experience as a bee has been, I found that at times, attaining beedom so late in the planning process was a bit of a challenge for me. Before blogging, I’d already joked that I felt as though I had two full-time jobs: my day job and planning the wedding. Finding in the additional time to write my 3-4 posts each week was not always easy. Especially considering that it takes this puppy at least an hour and a half to crank out just one. So it wasn’t uncommon for me to be up as late as 3:00AM during the week. The silver lining, though, is that my time-management skills strengthened and the procrastination problem lessened a bit!
Echoing what other bees have said, though, the encouragement and support from readers definitely made it worth it!
So you wanna be a bee…
You’ve already gotten some fantastic advice from my fellow bees about finding your voice and keeping your integrity (Be yourself!). I thought it might be helpful to share with you what worked for me when applying.
When I decided to apply, I had a little more than five weeks left until our wedding. I figured if there was any hope for me as a short-term bee, my application needed to be eye-catching. Not really knowing how the review process worked, my goal was to get my blog seen sooner than later. So rather than simply answering the application questions in a ho-hum numbered list, I decided to up the “wow” factor by formatting my application in a unique way. It kind of looked like a résumé.
With the help of Adobe PageMaker, I created a two-page layout. I separated each question with a colorful frame and labeled it in a fancy font. I also threw in a few photos here and there for a personal touch and added interest.
You know something, it must have worked. I received my acceptance e-mail from Pengy later the very same day!
As I mentioned earlier, everyone has a story to share… even a short-term bee like me. Thank you so much, hive, for embracing and encouraging me throughout my planning process, but especially during the final stretch when I needed it most!